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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 111  Aug. 29, 2014
Quote of the day:
"It's authentic. It's vibrant. It's New York." - Roland Lewis, chairman of the New Amsterdam Market board of directors, describing the New Amsterdam Market.
* Future of the New Amsterdam Market continues to evolve
* Bits & Bytes: 9/11 Memorial opening times; Brooklyn Bridge barriers; Upscale Denny's
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Fire Safety Forum
* Letters to the Editor: Battery Park City Seniors' leadership
* Community Board 1 meetings: Week of Sept. 1
* Calendar

For breaking news, go to

The tugboat Resolute in the Great North River Tugboat Race and Competition. Sept. 1, 2013.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 

Robert LaValva, founder of the New Amsterdam Market on South Street, estimated that between 3,500 and 4,000 people attended the opening market of the 2012 season. (Photos: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

The future of the New Amsterdam Market remains murky. It seems likely now that the New Amsterdam Market will survive in some form, but probably not in the South Street Seaport, said Roland Lewis, chairman of its board of directors.
Robert LaValva at the New Amsterdam Market on Sept. 25, 2011 with New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Robert LaValva, the founder of the market, which drew thousands of people to South Street between Beekman and Peck Slip every time it opened, pulled the plug on the market on July 14 when he announced in an email that he had "never been able to raise the funding or attract the influential backers needed for our organization to thrive."

Referring to the actions of The Howard Hughes Corporation in the Seaport, he also decried the loss of "more than one acre of beloved and irreplaceable public space," which he described as the Seaport's "most precious public asset ruined by inappropriate programming and terrible waterfront design."

He wanted out.

However, Lewis told the Save Our Seaport group at a Town Hall meeting on Aug. 27, LaValva is having "second, third, fourth thoughts about his role in the market and its future." Save Our Seaport is an organization that has been working to preserve the historic Seaport and its maritime heritage. Encouraging and enlarging the New Amsterdam Market has been one of the pillars of its platform.

Lewis told the Save Our Seaport group that he had gone to The Howard Hughes office two years ago and introduced himself to HHC's general manager for the Seaport as the chief executive of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and a member of the board of the New Amsterdam Market.

Then, Lewis said that he talked about Robert LaValva. "I know that he has said some nasty things about you in the press but you should pay attention because the market is everything that you're not," Lewis recounted. "It's authentic. It's vibrant. It's New York. You're plastic and don't fit in. If you were smart, you would hire Mr. LaValva to be your market manager and figure out the magic sauce that he brings to the market. You could do good and do well. I know you guys hate each other right now. You'll probably hate each other in the future, but in the meantime, do something good for New York."

Lewis finished his anecdote by saying, "He didn't listen to my advice."

At this point, LaValva also seems to be deaf to Lewis' advice. Lewis and LaValva met on the morning of Aug. 28. That afternoon, in a phone call, Lewis summed up their meeting.

"The good news is that Robert is staying," he said. "He wants to continue with the New Amsterdam Market. But, there's always been a double mission for the organization. Obviously, he's been working to create change in the Seaport and preservation for the Seaport, but also, at the same time, to create food systems that would support producers, purveyors and growers of locally based, transparently grown food."

Lewis added, "I think he thinks that keeping the market in the Seaport is just too high a hill to climb right now. It's probably more fruitful to work on the food aspects of the mission than on the Sisyphean struggle to save the Seaport. I don't think he views this as the future home of the New Amsterdam Market."    


Most of the members of the New Amsterdam Market board of directors are away right now for the Labor Day holiday. Lewis said they would confer next week.   


"The board has to decide whether our primary concern is the Seaport or whether our primary concern is keeping the New Amsterdam Market as a market," he said.

 - Terese Loeb Kreuzer  



Bits & Bytes
The NYPD is going to install new barriers to discourage people from climbing the Brooklyn Bridge. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

"In first, memorial will be open on night of 9/11," Crain's New York Business, 8/29/14. "The Sept.  11 memorial plaza will be open on the night of the attacks' anniversary this year, marking the first time the general public will be able to visit ground zero on the commemoration date," says Crain's New York Business. Crain's cites an email sent by memorial President Joe Daniels to victims' families in which he said, "The plaza will be closed to the public during the remembrance ceremony and much of the rest of the day, but it will open from 6 p.m. to midnight for those who want to pay respects and view one of the most evocative observances - the twin beams called the Tribute in Light - from an especially 'meaningful vantage point.'"For the complete article, click here.

"Police eye improved barriers to keep people from climbing Brooklyn Bridge," Daily News, 8/28/14. "The Brooklyn Bridge will soon be getting harder to scale," the Daily News reports.
"Cops are working with city transportation officials to make the gates that are supposed to keep people from climbing the cables harder to get around, according to John Miller, the NYPD's deputy commissioner for counterterrorism and intelligence." For the complete article, click here.

"Denny's Goes Upscale With $300 Champagne Brunch in NYC,", 8/29/14. "Denny's Corp., the restaurant chain known for dishes such as the Grand Slam and Moons Over My Hammy," opened its first diner in New York City, said It opened at 5 a.m. on Aug. 29 "on the ground-floor of a luxury residential building on Nassau Street in lower Manhattan, across from City Hall and just north of Wall Street. The diner will offer a full bar with Prosecco on tap and a $300 brunch for two that includes a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne. The interior will be upmarket as well, with copper-stamped ceilings, wood paneling and leather booths," says Bloomberg. For the complete article, click here.

"Tours to Ellis Island Hospital begin in October," Crain's New York Business, 8/29/14. "Starting on Oct. 1, visitors to Ellis Island will be able to tour an area that has been closed to the public since 1954," says Crain's New York Business. "Tours to the enormous South-Side hospital complex, where immigrants to the United States were treated or screened for infectious diseases, will be led by Save Ellis Island, a nonprofit charged with rehabilitating that neglected portion of the space. There are 30 dilapidated hospital buildings there that visitors will be able to experience for the first time in decades as first reported by Crain's in July." Tickets will go on sale on Sept. 25. "Initially, the 90-minute tours will take place about three times a day and be limited to 10 people, but the nonprofit eventually hopes to double the number of tours and visitors. The tour includes 18 stops," says Crain's. For the complete article, click here.


Downtown bulletin board
The South Street Seaport Museum's galleries at 12-14 Fulton St. shelter the remains of several 19th-century hotels and include a rickety staircase with a sign that says, "Exit in case of Fire" with a hand pointing downward. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Fire Safety Forum for highrise buildings: In the aftermath of several news-making fires in high-rise apartment buildings in the last few months, Community Board 1 is hosting a fire safety forum on Thursday, Sept. 18. One of the recent fires took place on Aug. 11 at Independence Plaza North. Eight people were injured in that fire. The fire safety forum is being presented in partnership with the Independence Plaza North Tenants Association, the New York City Fire Department and the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Place: Borough of Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers St., Richard Harris Terrace. Time: 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Free and open to the public but space is limited. RSVP to

Letter to the editor
Ruth Ohman in 2009 addressing the Battery Park City Authority board of directors prior to its vote on the proposed rental agreement between the BPCA and the LeFrak Organization over rents at Gateway Plaza. Ohman said that the seniors living at Gateway were on fixed incomes and needed the rent protection in order to remain there.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

To the editor:
(Re: "More people are growing old in Lower Manhattan" DPNYC, 8/25/14) Thanks so much for your good story on growing old and, in particular, for the beautiful description of our senior group. It made me realize, however, that we haven't done enough yet to let people know that Audrey Harkins, another long-time resident of Battery Park City, has recently signed on as co-chair of the Battery Park City Seniors. We are equal co-chairs - I'm mostly  in charge of communication and she is mostly in charge of activities, but the fact is we do everything together.

Again, many thanks.
Ruth Ohman

From the editor:

We welcome letters to the editor. Email them to We reserve the right to edit them for clarity and length.

A ferry on the Hudson River at Battery Park City. On Sept. 2, Community Board 1's Battery Park City Committee will discuss the problem of ferry noise.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer) 
All Community Board 1 meetings take place at 49-51 Chambers St., Room 709, unless otherwise noted, and start at 6 p.m. All are welcome to attend. Bring photo ID to enter the building.

Sept. 1: Office Closed - Labor Day

Sept. 2: Battery Park City Committee
             Location: Battery Park City Library, 175 North End Ave.; 6 p.m.
* Safety of intersection of Liberty and West Streets - Discussion with NYS and NYC DOT*
* Sidewalk café regulations - Presentation by Michael Levine, CB1 Planning Consultant
* Ferry horns and other quality of life impacts - Discussion with ferry operators
* Discussion of Rent Protection Laws and proposed resolution

Sept. 3: Financial District Committee
* The Battery Conservancy - Update by Warrie Price, President and Hope Cohen, Chief Administration & Finance Officer
* Broadway Phase 1 Project Update by Rajput Dushyant, Engineer-In-Charge, P.E., Resident Engineer, Eirik Rundhovde. P.E., Norberto Acevedo, Deputy Director, Liz Baptiste, CCL
* 92 Fulton St., application for an appeal pursuant General City Law and zoning waiver to construct a building as-of-right within the bed of a mapped but unbuilt street - Resolution
* Building 301, Governors Island, application for approval of Artist Studio for Spaceworks - Resolution
* 106 Liberty St., application for a beer license for Powell Foods of 2445, LLC d/b/a Burger King - Resolution
* 99 Washington St., application for a liquor license for Golden Seahorse LLC & Amazon Restaurant & Bar Inc. as manager and Crescent Hotels Resorts LLC as manager - Resolution
* 41 John St., application for a wine and beer license for Chopping Block - Resolution
* 15 William St., application for a wine and beer license for Open Kitchen LLC - Resolution
* 94˝ Greenwich St., application for a wine and beer license for AJ'S Eatery Corp., d/b/a Café De Novo - Resolution
* 108 John St., application for a liquor license for Thai Sliders - Resolution
* Street Activity Permit for St. Paul's Chapel New Service on 9-28-2014, Vesey Street between Broadway and Church Street - Resolution
* Street Activity Permit for Coenties Slip Greenmarket from 9/11 to 11/20, 2014, Coenties Slip between Water Street and Pearl Street - Resolution
* Street Activity Permit for Chabad of Wall Street on 10/26/2014, Fulton Street, between Broadway and Nassau Street - Resolution
* 14 Wall St., application for Board of Standards and Appeals Special Permit for a physical culture establishment - Resolution (POSTPONED UNTIL OCTOBER)

The following notices have been received for renewal, upgrade, or transfer of wine and beer or liquor licenses or sidewalk cafe permits:
* 85 West St., renewal application for Marriott Hotel Services, INC & CCMH FIN Center, LLC
* 85 Pearl St., renewal liquor license application for Venture LTD
* 129 Front St., renewal liquor license application for Front Property Hotel Corp, d/b/a Exchange Hotel


CALENDAR: Week of Aug. 25
The fireboat John J. Harvey and a tugboat at last year's Great North River Tugboat Race and Competition. The cruise ship Norwegian Breakaway is in the background. This year's race is on Aug. 31. For tickets on the spectator boat, click here.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Aug. 31: For the last 22 years, Labor Day Weekend has included the Great North River Tugboat Race & Competition in which some of the harbor's mightiest and smallest tugs and everything in between race each other down the Hudson River. The day's events also include a nose to nose competition (like arm wrestling except done with tugboats), a spinach-eating contest, a line toss competition and awards for such things as best mascot and best tattoo. A spectator boat accompanies the tugs as they parade up the river and then race back down to Pier 84 at West 44th Street. The spectator boat boards at 9 a.m. and leaves from Pier 83 at 9:30 a.m. Tickets: $25 (adults); $12 (kids). For more information or to buy tickets, click here
Ongoing: An exhibit in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's arts center on Governors Island examines a pivotal time in Trisha Brown's early career as an artist and choreographer, as well as a particularly fertile moment for artistic production in New York City. With videos, photographs and installations, "Trisha Brown: Embodied Practice and Site-Specificity" highlights Brown's community of performers and artists, and the Lower Manhattan in which they lived and created. The exhibit shows Brown's investigation of simple movements such as walking or dressing, and the built environment, specifically through performances that took place on buildings inside and out, museum walls, parks, cobblestone streets, and other non-traditional performance spaces.  The exhibition also bridges the transition in Brown's practice from site- and gallery-based work to proscenium stage work, for which she became well-known throughout the 1980s and beyond. Through Sept. 28. Times: Fridays and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. For more information, click here.  
Ongoing: "From Drills to Drums: Civil War Life on Governors Island." A program for kids, who will see first hand the lives of soldiers, civilians and prisoners on the island in the 19th century. No tickets or reservations required, but large school or day camp groups should call (212) 825-3045. Every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Place: Governors Island. Time: 10:20 a.m. Also at 11:20 a.m. Free.

Ongoing: Hike Through History. The most comprehensive tour of Governors Island National Monument takes in nearly every highlight in the historic district. No tickets or reservations required. Visitors should be prepared to stand for a full 90 minutes and walk a distance of about 1.5 miles. Wednesdays to Sundays. Place: Governors Island. Meet at Soissons Dock. Time: 2 p.m. For more information, click here.
Ongoing: "A Town Known as Auschwitz" is an exhibit of photographs at the Museum of Jewish Heritage tracing the history of a town called "Oswiecim" in what is now Poland, where Jews and non-Jews lived side by side for centuries. When German forces occupied the town in September 1939, they renamed it "Auschwitz" and established a concentration and death camp there. More than 1 million people died at Auschwitz, including 90 percent of the town's Jews. The museum is at 36 Battery Place. For information the exhibit, click here. For information on the museum's hours and admission fees, click here.
Ongoing: Poets House in Battery Park City presents "A Painter and His Poets," the first major retrospective show of George Schneeman's collaborative paintings, collages, prints, and books, with portraits of his poet friends, spanning 40 years. "A sort of utopia in the visual field filled with pleasure, quickness and wit" is how Schneeman himself described his collaborative work with poets. Exhibition on view through Saturday, Nov. 15, during regular Poets House hours. Place: 10 River Terrace. Free. For information about Poets House, click here.

Ongoing: The South Street Seaport Museum's lightship Ambrose and its barque Peking welcome visitors Wednesdays to Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Pier 16 (on the East River at Fulton Street). The Ambrose, launched in 1908,  once guided large ships through the Ambrose Channel into New York harbor. Peking was launched in Hamburg, Germany in 1911, one of the last commercial sailing ships ever built. She was used to carry goods from Europe to South America and to return to Europe with nitrate. The museum's Visitors Services associates explain all of the fascinating details of the ships and their relevance to the history of New York as a port city. Cost: $12 (adults); $8 (students, 12-24 and seniors); $5 (children 2-11); under 2, free. To buy tickets, click here.

Ongoing: "Defining Lines: Maps from the 1700s and early 1800s" at the Fraunces Tavern
Museum. Twenty-seven maps provide a perspective on the evolving nation's place in history. A map from 1804, never before exhibited, shows the U.S. postal routes. Place: 54 Pearl St. Time: Noon to 5 p.m., daily. Admission fees: $7; $4 (seniors, students with ID, children, 6 to 8 years old. Children, 5 and under, free. Active military with ID, free. For more information, click here.
Ongoing: The National Museum of the American Indian is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with free admission. It offers free films, docent-led tours of its exhibitions and tours of its premises, the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, designed by Cass Gilbert. The building, which was completed in 1907, is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One Bowling Green. Phone: (212) 514-3700. For the museum's calendar, click here.

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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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